Xiaoyuan Hanyu responds to the practical needs of college students with a text that presents natural and idiomatic Chinese along with concise English instruction. Originally developed at the University of Washington, it has been used successfully at Middlebury College and other institutions for over a decade. This first published edition incorporates enhanced typography, streamlined organization, new exercises, a complete glossary, and includes an audio CD of the Chinese texts. The authors are native speakers of both Chinese and English.
Sixteen lessons introduce vocabulary for discussing topics of concern to college students, such as finding a place to live, registering for classes, resolving cultural misunderstandings, and visiting a professor's house. Sections centered around clusters of new vocabulary items guide the student through reading and writing exercises while simultaneously reviewing previously introduced words and patterns. Oral exercises provide opportunities to use and practice the new material. Grammar and usage explanations and exercises further prepare the student for reading the lesson's main text (kewen), an extended passage that uses the new vocabulary and grammar. Each lesson ends with a series of homework assignments.
Among Xiaoyuan Hanyu's features are:
- Ease in following any of the leading beginning-Chinese textbooks
- Thorough preparation of the student for both spoken and written advanced Chinese in the classroom and in travel in China
- Emphasis on listening and speaking in class, centered on natural dialogues that use actual spoken forms, not "textbook language"
- Accompanying audio CD
- Simplified characters and pinyin romanization, with equivalent traditional (complex) characters provided in vocabulary lists
- Clear explanations of grammar and usage
- Extensive exercises for practicing vocabulary, listening, reading, and writing
- Lesson content focusing on practical topics that college students want and need to discuss
- Organization of lessons in the sequence that teachers teachers of Chinese at the University of Washington. glossary, audio CD